CHARLESTON - The Missouri Association of Counties is suing the state of Missouri over a list of programs mandated by the state but unfunded or underfunded, according to Mississippi County Assessor W.R. "Bill" Thompson.
Thompson reported during Thursday's county commission meeting on the Missouri Association of Counties conference Nov. 24-25 which he attended as a voting delegate on behalf of Mississippi County.
Thompson said the MAC passed a resolution in support of state appropriations to fully fund state mandates on county governments and has decided to sue the state on the grounds that it is violating the Hancock Amendment by forcing the under- and unfunded programs on the counties.
Key issues addressed in the resolution and lawsuit include the reduction of the state's contribution to county assessment funds from $6.20 per parcel to $5.50; cutting the state's reimbursement for prisoners held by the county before being handed over to the Department of Corrections; requirements to furnish office space and expenses for state public defenders; and the cost of running state elections among others.
In other Mississippi County news:
* Commissioners approved paying Tatums Nursery and Garden Center an additional $25 per oak and $15 per dogwood to stake and mulch the trees after planting them at the county-maintained Oak Grove Cemetery.
The purchase was changed to 12 red oaks and 12 dogwoods instead of the 14 oaks and 13 dogwoods originally approved.
Tatums also reportedly agreed to install irrigation lines with a head at each tree and trench and lay wire from the well to lighting for the flagpole for $250.
Jim Blumenberg, presiding commissioner, said Tatums will begin planting the trees next week following approval from Dig-Rite.
* Blumenberg said Don Chance, jail administrator, is applying for a federal domestic violence investigation grant of $26,616 with a $8,800 local match requirement.
* Commissioner Martin Lucas recommended having the county's radar unit monitor County Road 413, also known as Millar Road, as there has reportedly been blatant disregard for speed limits there.
Blumenberg said there has also been lots of speeding along Spanish Grant Road.
"We will be out on some of those secondary county roads," Blumenberg said.
Presently Deputy Ken Story is the only officer on radar patrol duty for the county, according to commissioners.
* Commissioners agreed the county road and bridge department needs a shed to shelter the department's equipment.
Officials discussed a 14-foot tall "pole-barn" shed enclosed on three sides and open to the east and agreed a shed at least 150 feet long will be needed.
They also discussed installing a compressed air line in the shed.
Commissioners agreed a gravel floor would work well enough for the shed and would be more cost effective than a concrete slab.
* Commissioners will seek advice from Bill Green on anchoring the old courthouse's columns to a concrete pad for a memorial.
A memorial using the old courthouse's columns is also planned for Whipple Park in Charleston.
* Officials agreed to order quarterly sales tax reports instead of monthly.
County Clerk Junior DeLay said it looks like the county will be down about 6 or 7 percent for the year's sales tax receipts as compared with the predicted 15-percent shortfall.